Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 June 2019

George Best follows Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah in getting the bad statue treatment

The sculpture of the Manchester United legend was unveiled in Belfast

The newly unveiled statue of George Best outside Winsdor Park in Belfast. PA
The newly unveiled statue of George Best outside Winsdor Park in Belfast. PA

We're not saying they're easy to create, but what is going on with statues of footballers?

First it was Cristiano Ronaldo who was cast in stone - only to come out looking like anyone but Cristiano Ronaldo.

Then it was the turn of Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, who went on display in Sharm El Sheikh and raised more than a few eyebrows.

And now it's the turn of Manchester United legend George Best, whose statue has been unveiled at Windsor Park in Belfast.

The former Northern Ireland international, who passed away in 2005, would have turned 73 on Wednesday.

The statue, created by Belfast sculptor Tony Currie, tries to capture Best's fantastic balance and dribbling skills which made him one of the most admired players in the late 1960s early 1970s.

He went on to score 179 goals for United and won the European Cup in 1968.

However, football fans have been left bemused by the sculpting of the head, which, similar to Ronaldo and Salah, doesn't really resemble Best.

Ronaldo's dodgy bust was first unveiled at a ceremony to rename Madeira's airport after the island's most famous son.

It didn't last long before it was swapped at the request of the Portuguese player's entourage, according to reports.

Ronaldo next to the original bust unveiled at a ceremony to rename the Madeira airport after the Portuguese star. AFP
Ronaldo next to the original bust unveiled at a ceremony to rename the Madeira airport after the Portuguese star. AFP

Salah meanwhile went on display at the World Youth Forum in November last year, with Egyptian sculptor Mai Abdel Allah saying her creation stood as a "symbol of excellence in life for Egypt's youth".

She added that she found it "distinguished and executable".

There has been some success stories in the world of football statues though.

Here's Jimmy Hill outside the ground of Coventry City in England ...

The Tom Finney "splash" at Preston North End's Deepdale ground ...

Michael Jackson outside Fulham's Craven Cottage in London ...

And Bobby Robson at Ipswich Town's Portman Road ground ...

Updated: May 23, 2019 11:35 AM

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